Historical Timeline of People and Discoveries

If I have seen further it is only by standing on ye shoulders of giants.
[Isaac Newton in a Letter to Robert Hooke, dated 5 February 1675]

Einstein and Leisureguy's (Michael Han) grandson. Posted March 23, 2007.

You may work alone or in a group of up to 2 people. The topics will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis as an ASULearn message.
  • Algebra of Matrices and Vectors
  • Determinants
  • Linear Modeling
  • Linear Regression and Scatterplots
  • Linear Spaces
  • Linear Transformations
  • Matrices
  • Solutions of Linear Equations
  • Vectors

    Maximum 5-Page Timeline
    Create an attractive and professional historical timeline that explores the interesting and important breakthroughs. Be sure that the timeline is in your own words and includes important contributions from diverse scientists or mathematicians as well as interesting pictures. Approximate dates can be noted as ~1762 or by a range of dates, such as 1700-1800. A maximum of five-pages will be allowed. The result should be an in depth exploration of the history of the specific topic - not the history of all of linear algebra.

    Annotated Bibliography
    Use many different types of sources, including scholarly references and library sources. Submit a separate annotated bibliography of all of the sources you used in the timeline, with annotations explaining how you used each reference in your timeline, where the pictures came from, etc. Use as many pages as you need for the annotated bibliography.

    Presenting your Timeline

    We will divide up the class into two research sessions and all of the timelines for that research session will be up at the same time (with small groups of people walking around, like at Appalachian's research day, a science fair, or a research conference poster session). During your session, you must stand by your timeline and annotated bibliography (which will be taped to the wall) to present your timeline and answer questions (and your answers must demonstrate expertise of your topic). During the other session, you will talk to others about their projects and fill out peer review sheets. If you work on your project with someone else, you will each be in different research sessions.

    References and Suggestions

    Library databases such as Jstor, library books or books in my office contain a wealth of historical information. For instance, the CD entitled "Historical Modules for the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics" (Katz and Michalowicz, 2004) contains many modules of historical content and is also available for you to look at in my office hours.

    Websites such as the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive (O'Connor and Robertson, 2005) provide an extensive collection of articles on particular people and topics and you can perform a site search there. The Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (Miller, J, 2008) can provide history on the development as well as the first published appearance of terms. Wikipedia's history pages can also be useful.

    General history of mathematics books, as well as specific books and articles contain related information, like:
    Bressoud, David. The Queen of the Sciences: A History of Mathematics. Chantilly, VA: Teaching Company, 2008.
    Crowe, Michael J.. "A History of Vector Analysis." 2002
    Grattan-Guinness, Ivor, and Walter Ledermann. "Matrix Theory." In Companion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences. Edited by I. Grattan-Guinness. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
    Katz, Victor. "Historical Ideas in Teaching Linear Algebra." In Learn from the Masters! Edited by Frank Swetz, John Fauvel, Otto Bekken, Bengt Johansson, and Victor Katz. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America, 1995.
    Katz, Victor. A History of Mathematics. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley, 2009.
    Katz, Victor. "The History of Stokes' Theorem." Mathematics Magazine 52, no. 3 (1979).
    Rosenfeld, B. A. A History of Non-Euclidean Geometry: Evolution of the Concept of a Geometric Space. New York: Springer, 1988 [for transformations]